East Carolina University students are reminded of the various well-being resources and support offered on campus as ECU enters the halfway point of the fall semester.
In an email sent to ECU students, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said fall break marks the midway point for the fall semester which has presented members of the ECU community with obstacles, has challenged motivation and tested their strength.
Hardy said ECU officials have seen how stress, anxiety, isolation and depression have impacted students’ perspectives and coping skills. The trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting students, she said, with their mental health and wellbeing taking a significant hit.
“Today, as we look forward to the rest of the fall semester, we plan our return to campus with a renewed focus on supporting our students’ wellbeing and connection to resources,” Hardy said.
Fresh Check Day was celebrated on Oct. 6 with Campus Recreation and Wellness, Hardy said. The annual event aims to promote mental health services on campus and to check in with members of the ECU community. Hardy said over the weekend, ECU recognized World Mental Health Day with the timing of the awareness day coinciding with fall break. She said the break seemed like an opportunity to pause and refocus.
Hardy provided a list of resources and services that are offered for the ECU community. She encouraged students to share the resources to their friends and peers and to post them on social media to encourage others to use the resources that are provided for students.
“We cannot focus on the academic expectations and successes of our university if we overlook the wellbeing and emotional needs of our community members,” Hardy said.
The Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) expanded services this semester through My Student Support Program, Hardy said. The expansion was created to increase counseling support and resources for students. The program offers chat, phone and video therapy services to all ECU enrolled students including distance education students and students located outside of North Carolina and the United States.
Kognito At-Risk is an interactive learning online module for students and faculty members which is designed to build awareness, knowledge and skills about mental health and suicide prevention. It prepares users to lead real-life conversations with students to build resilience, strengthen relationships and connect them with support.
ECU Cares and the Office of the Dean of Students is available for consultation and referrals regarding students of concern, Hardy said. The Center for Counseling and Student Development is used to learn information on signs of distress, referral recommendations and other frequently asked questions.
Well-Being at ECU is a new website to help students, faculty and staff discover the elements of well-being, explore resources to thrive and to identify pathways to live a flourishing life, Hardy said.
“If you or your friends are not sure where to start on your well-being journey, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, or struggling to make health choices, consider well-being coaching,” Hardy said. “Well-Being Coaches partner with individuals to co-create a plan based on one’s own values and believe systems.”
BetterYou is a digital coach found on app stores that helps students achieve personal well-being goals in the areas of mindfulness, social, education and physical well-being. The app was designed to provide gentle nudges and reminders that positively influence behaviors.
“We hope these resources are helpful as we continue through the fall semester. Please remember to take care of yourself as well take care of each other—united as Pirate Nation through our mission to serve,” Hardy said.